Research Integrity

All institutions qualified to receive federal funding must comply with federal regulations regarding research activities. Misconduct in scientific research and scholarly activities undermines the intellectual integrity of WMed as a whole. Such Misconduct is a serious violation of federal regulations and WMed policy. Therefore, the purpose of this policy is to assure that research is conducted responsibly, ethically, and in accordance with appropriate scientific standards. Specifically, this policy provides a framework for processing Allegations of Misconduct in Research, including fabrication, falsification, plagiarism and other practices that materially deviate from practices commonly accepted in the discipline or in the research communities.

The Research Integrity Officer implements and oversees the Misconduct in Research and Scholarly Activities policy within the WMed community, and provides the initial confidential review of research misconduct allegations.  Anonymous allegations will also be considered, however, any such allegations must contain sufficient information to permit an objective assessment of the allegation.  The Research Integrity Officer also confidentially manages authorship and data disputes, and is a good resource for advising faculty, students, and researchers on proper authorship and data management practices. The Research Integrity Officer is available to anyone, inside or outside the WMed community, to confidentially discuss research integrity matters.

Conflict of Interest

WMed is committed to an environment that promotes honesty, objectivity, and transparency. In addition, federal regulations and accrediting agencies require the identification, management, and elimination of conflicts of interest and commitment. The COIC policy, GEN04, establishes principles and practices to minimize the potential for financial and other interests and commitments to adversely affect medical school activities and research. The purpose of the COIC policy is to avoid the adverse impact of conflicts of interest and commitment in the learning and working environment, which includes all medical school activities in medical education, clinical care, research and scholarly activities, and community service, by providing guidelines for identification, review, management, and resolution of conflicts of interest and commitment.

Employed faculty, administrative directors, fellows, residents, staff, and individuals serving in a decision-making role on Standing Committees are required to disclose their conflicts of significant financial interests, commitments, and personal relationships on a continuing basis with annual attestation. Investigators participating in sponsored research and other research projects requiring Institutional Review Board, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and Institutional Biosafety Committee approval must disclose research conflicts of interest. Conflicts are identified and managed through established medical school processes.

All general and research conflicts of interest and commitment are managed by the associate dean for Administration and Finance (who serves also as the Chief Compliance Officer), the associate dean for Research, and the Research Integrity Officer.